In order to be considered for participation in the Work-Study program at the University of Texas at Austin, interested non-profit employers* must submit the following documentation to the Office of Financial Aid :
- Federal Work-Study Agreement, Federal Work-Study Agreement Supplemental Form, and Payee Information Form, all of which may be obtained by calling the Work-Study Office at (512) 475-6247.
- Copy of IRS letter verifying your agency’s non-profit income tax exempt status.
- General description of the agency (mission statement).
- Proof of agency’s “good standing” with Texas State Comptroller’s Office.
*NOTE: UT student organizations and agencies located outside the immediate Austin area are not eligible to apply.
In addition to the above documentation, prospective Work-Study employers may be asked to provide information about:
- Funding: Knowing what percentage of the funding is recurring and what percentage is derived from donations helps us assess the employer’s ability to pay students for all hours worked.
- Logistics: Knowledge of the employer’s facilities helps us assess the employer’s ability to provide a safe environment for students, and knowledge of the employer’s current staffing level helps us assess the employer’s ability to properly supervise students and correctly complete all required Work-Study paperwork in a timely manner.
- Positions: A description of the Work-Study job can help us assess the employer’s overall eligibility to participate in the Federal Work-Study program.
Employers that currently have an agreement on file with the Office of Financial Aid need not re-apply. However, the Federal Work-Study Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Institution or the Agency upon two weeks’ prior written notice to the other party.
The following criteria establish a student’s eligibility for Work-Study:
- Show documented financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Need is determined by an analysis of financial resources available to the student.
- Be awarded Federal Work-Study on the Work-Study Verification (WSV).
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards as set by the Office of Financial Aid.
- Must be enrolled in appropriate credit hours as required by the student’s academic or non-academic title. Additional rules may apply in cases where stricter enrollment is required for Work-Study funds
Federal Work-Study funds may not be used for work performed after the student drops below half-time or withdrawls (Regulation 34 CFR 675.16). Similar rules are enforced for Work-Study funds from other sources. Once the student drops or withdrawls, the department is responsible for all pay after that date. The employer will be notified and any hours worked beyond their last eligible date must be paid 100% by the employer. Currently, UT Extension courses are not included in official enrollment counts for employment.
- In extreme cases, such as serious misconduct, students may be barred from participating in the Work-Study Program, even in meeting other eligibility criteria.
«TIP» Remind your students to re-apply for financial aid every year by January 15 to be considered for the widest range of financial aid, including Work-Study.
The Work-Study award amount represents the total gross amount the student may earn per semester. For example, Sue Student’s pay rate is $8.00/hour. In order for Sue to earn her $1400 Fall FWS award, she must work 175 total hours (175 x $8 = $1400). This means Sue must work an average of 14 hours per week. Employers may easily verify the FWS award amount during the job interview by asking to see the student’s Work-Study Verification (WSV).
Employers are strongly encouraged to hire their Work-Study students early to secure funding for the position. Students should not begin working until the hire is in progress and final approval is imminent.
A Work-Study Balance Sheet is available to assist students and employers in determining the amount of Work-Study earned-to-date. The student and the employer are responsible for monitoring FWS gross earnings.
«TIP» Review the student’s Work-Study Balance Sheet immediately after each payroll.
Occasionally, the Office of Financial Aid may reduce the student’s Work-Study award upon learning of additional resources like scholarships or tuition waivers. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the employer of the revision via e-mail or telephone so they can determine the amount remaining to be earned and the student can avoid earning more than the revised award amount.
In the case of less than half-time enrollment or withdrawal from UT Austin, employers will be notified of the date the student was last eligible to work as a Work-Study employee, and advised that they will not be reimbursed by the Office of Financial Aid for any hours the student worked beyond that date.
Award Period (Employment Dates)
The award period is the period during which students may earn their Work-Study award.
|SUMMER: June 1 – August 31|
|FALL: September 1 – December 31|
|SPRING: January 1* – May 17|
|*Employment periods may be combined as long as supported by the WVF (e.g. hire may be done 9/1 through 5/31)|
The last day a department may hire a Work-Study student each semester is as follows:
|SUMMER: July 16|
|FALL: October 15|
A student’s Work-Study award is meant to be earned over the entire award period.
Types of Jobs and Community Service
Work-Study students can be employed in a variety of positions. These include but are not limited to clerical assistants, data entry operators, photographers, and production assistants. Work-Study students must have the same qualifications as non-Work-Study individuals applying for the same jobs.
FWS Regulation 34 CFR 675.18 states: “A school must use at least 7% of its FWS allocation” for students employed in community service jobs. This must include at least one FWS student hired as reading tutor for children in preschool or elementary school, or one FWS student involved in family literacy activities. Some FWS positions have met the definition of Community Service in past years. That designation continues to be important because in the event that FWS funds become limited, those positions designated as Community Service, Reading Tutor, or Math Tutor will be approved first. See the Work-Study Award section above.
Community Service positions usually support off-campus agencies involved in programs designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals. In the past, some of these positions have been found in areas of child care, health care, social services, welfare, crime prevention/control, transportation, recreation and education.
Pay Rates and the Work-Study Share
Students employed in the Work-Study program are never paid on a salary, commission or fee basis. They must be paid instead on an hourly basis for their actual time spent on the job. Although the rate of pay is determined by the off-campus agency, all jobs must pay at least minimum wage ($7.25 per hour). Most jobs pay more, however, depending upon the student’s experience and skills.
Work-Study funds will not cover:
- Hours worked in excess of the student’s Work-Study award
- Hours worked prior to the start or after the end of the Award Period (refer to the Work-Study Verification Form)
- Hours worked over 8 hours per 24-hour period
- Hours worked over Beyond 19 hours per week
- Benefits such as sick leave, vacation or holiday pay, employer’s contribution to Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, retirement, or any other welfare or insurance program.
Because Work-Study students are not eligible for benefits, Work-Study funds must not be used by the student’s employer to provide benefits such as sick leave, vacation or holiday pay. Also, Work-Study funds must never be used by the student’s employer to pay the employer’s contribution to Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, retirement, or any other welfare or insurance program.
FWS regulation 34 CFR 675.76 requires that Work-Study students be paid at least once per month. The Work-Study share of wages paid to students employed under the FWS program shall not exceed 70% except in those cases where the Office of Financial Aid has reviewed and approved the position as:
- A Reading Tutor for children in pre-school or elementary school or
- A Reading Tutor in a family literacy program that provides services to children from infancy through elementary or to their parents or caregivers or
- A Math Tutor for children in grades K-9
For the eligible tutor positions above, the Work-Study share will be 100%. This also includes up to 20 hours of tutor training. The Work-Study share will be 70%, however, for any tutor training hours beyond 20. This is because the goal is to spend funds for Work-Study students to interact with the children, not for other activities.
Timesheets and Paying Work-Study
Take careful note of pay periods and timesheet due dates to ensure the student is paid timely. Late timesheets, especially after the end of the semester, may result in those payments not being covered by the Work-Study share. Create a sign in and sign out log to reduce the guess work in completing timesheets. The employer is responsible for documenting their student’s hours and ensuring they do not schedule hours that conflict with class meeting times. Time entry can be accessed remotely and on mobile devices.
Again, as long as the student is successfully hired into a Work-Study Job Profile, the Work-Study Cost Allocation will be added by the Office of Financial Aid to appropriately pay the Work-Study share of the job.
Maximum Work Hours and Quantity of Work
Work-Study students cannot be assigned to a position for more than 19 hours per week. In addition, no student can ever work more than eight hours in any 24 hour period or more than forty hours per week.
The Quantity of Work guidelines were established to help students achieve balance between their schoolwork and their job(s). Finding the right balance is the key to maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Employers are strongly encouraged to follow the University’s Quantity of Work Guidelines.